PAN chef Jody-Ann Huie, three times a champion
The PAN chicken competition hosted by CB Foods has seen its share of winners over the years, but rarely has there been a champion quite as stellar as Clarendon’s Jody-Ann Huie, who dominated PAN 2019 Regional 2 in Black River, St Elizabeth, on Saturday, September 28.
Raised in a family gifted in the culinary arts, Huie not only placed first overall in PAN 2019 Regional 2, but she also came away with first place for her parish, as well as sweeping the top spot in the Lick Di Spot Miracle Sauce Competition.
Huie took home a cash prize of $50,000 for landing first place in her parish, and $30,000 for winning the Miracle Lick Di Spot Sauce Competition, courtesy of CB Foods, and Miracle, respectively.
In spite of her breathtaking victories, Huie remains grounded. She said: “I entered the competition just to showcase my talent. My parents entered before and did well and I wanted to give it a try and see what I could do.” Her family has a long history in the competition with her father, brother, and uncle competing over the years. Her stepmother, Lesma Huie, was last year’s champion.
Jody-Ann Huie displayed extraordinary culinary skills at the PAN 2019 Regional 2. Her accomplishments beg the question of whether this love for cooking is passed down in the family, by way of her parents motivating her to follow the tradition. “Cooking has always been in my family; everybody just cooks. I’m not sure if my father or mother ever really made me get into it.” Huie noted that her father has been in the business of serving up delicious dishes for years.
Throughout her high school years, she would help out in her father’s restaurant on weekends. Huie continued to dabble in the kitchen with her parents years after graduating high school. In 2019, she now works with her parents full-time in her father’s catering business. To date, she has been working with her family in this capacity for over 10 years; it’s no surprise her talents reaped tremendous rewards at this year’s PAN chicken competition.
Jody-Ann Huie may be talented, but she did not expect to dominate the Regional 2 competition as she did at Independence Park in Black River.
“I knew I would do my best and I expected to do all right, but not like this – because I knew there would be other chefs there and they know their stuff too,” she explained.
With grand finals set for October 26, Jody-Ann has plans of her own for the future. These plans will hopefully manifest into a restaurant encapsulating some of her other culinary interests, such as baking. “My plan is to have a business for myself; branch off from my parents and do my own thing. I would still jerk chicken, but get into other stuff as well,” she said.